Today we have Jenny, aka SweaterFreak in our Designer Spotlight. But don’t let the name fool you – she also designs beautiful Shawls, Wraps, and Cowls, too. I know you will enjoy learning more about her! (All pattern links go to Ravelry, all yarn links go to The Loopy Ewe.)
Loopy: Hi Jenny! Thanks for being with us today. How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?
Jenny: I have been a knitter on and off 1985 to 2006 – I was 7 years old when my grandmother taught me how to knit and crochet, I think I actually started knitting before I knew how to read! In 2006, I decided it was time to knit again and I have never looked back!
Loopy: How sweet that your grandmother taught you. It’s a fun tradition to pass on down the line! What is your favorite type of item to knit?
Jenny: Sweaters and cowls!
Loopy: That would have been my guess, based on your design name. 🙂 What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?
Jenny: My V-Lace top which is my second pattern remains the most challenging item I made to date:) I don’t like easy beginnings:) In retrospect, it’s actually an easy knit, but was more difficult to grade and write the pattern for, than actually knit.
Loopy: Yes, that just kind of boggles my mind, thinking about writing that in all of the different sizes. It’s really a beautiful sweater! When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?
Jenny: I first dibbed my toes in design in 2011 and I have to credit my late friend and a designer Elena Nodel (aka Anadiomena on Ravelry) with providing encouragement and mentorship in the early stages of my design path.
Loopy: It helps so very much to have a mentor when you undertake big things. I’m glad you had a good one. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Jenny: My last pattern is usually my favorite – one of my recent patterns absolutely surpassed my expectations when I blocked it, my Neutra Wrap. I adore graphic bold mod patterns in fashion and really wanted to go for that kind of aesthetic on this one and it worked out so well. I am very pleased.
Loopy: That is a really cool pattern! I love the different directions of the stripes. It would be fun to pick yarn colors for that! What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?
Jenny: My favorite part is seeing my idea grow, especially when it works out as envisioned, you know that AHA! moment! Not so favorite part is taking the photos – I use myself as a model and with time limitations, it’s always a gamble with lighting and I am not a huge fan of being photographed, but I am getting used to it gradually.
Loopy: Well since you design such beautiful things, I think it’s safe to say that most people are too buy studying the knitwear to worry too much about the model! Maybe that helps! Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard? Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?
Jenny: I do this part time, I have a day job as well. It’s been actually OK to juggle the two, but I am quite well organized and I have to credit my grandmother in instilling excellent work ethic in me and ability to focus, so I have been pretty lucky not to have major difficulties. I also get a lot of support from my husband who is always ready to step in with day to day chores, if I need extra knitting time. This definitely helps a ton!
Loopy: It’s good to have support at home, and I’m so glad you’re able to do both. Does anyone else in your family knit?
Jenny: My mom is a sporadic knitters, but she prefers sewing. No one else knits in my family but both of my grandmothers (now both long passed away) were knitters.
Loopy: So you are carrying on the hobby from both of them. I bet they would be pleased. Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?
Jenny: No, knitting is the only hobby I truly love! I tried sewing, but it did not stick. But I do occasionally sew knitting bags!
Loopy: That’s one way to get a knitter sewing – new project bags! What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Jenny: Go to the beach and knit! maybe have lunch and then knit!
Loopy: I see a theme in that day off! Glad you have included plenty of knitting. Ok – last sets of questions: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂
Jenny: I am an early morning and late night person, I don’t generally sleep a lot naturally:) Definitely coffee!
I am a combined knitter but I knit continental when in the round. I also learned Irish Collage knitting, which is an English style to vary things up a bit.
I prefer solid yarns to variegated in general except for shawls when you can get a bit more playful and creative.
Loopy: I’m going to have to look up that knitting style – sounds interesting. Thanks again for being with us today, Jenny! Anything else you’d like to add?
Jenny: I love knitting and wool and I hope people knitting my patterns see the passion behind them. Thank you for having me and giving me the opportunity to do this interview!
Jenny is offering a 20% discount on the pattern of your choice from her Ravelry Pattern shop. The code is: LOOPYEWE and is valid August 20-27. 2021.
Have a great weekend!